One of the side effects of the girls participating in the Saturday-morning Pokémon open play event at Accidentally Cool Games is that they’ve got me to play with them. As with other trading card games I’ve been involved with in the past — the excellent Star Wars Trading Card Game by Decipher that went away over a decade ago, and Magic: The Gathering for a year or so — I’ve enjoyed collecting Pokémon cards as much or more as I’ve enjoyed playing against the girls. And as with the previous games I’ve played, I’m a collect-first, play-second collector — the first copy of a card I get goes into a binder for the set, the second copy and beyond are available for decks.
With the February release of Pokémon’s next set, called Ultra Prism, almost upon us, I wanted to find a good checklist for keeping track of the cards in my set. Ultra Prism will be the seventh set that has been released since the girls and I started collecting and playing frequently, and there’s an eighth pseudo-set running parallel to everything if you count Pokémon’s extensive promo-card program which, as I write this, is up to 99 cards. And each of the seven main sets includes a parallel subset, with most cards having a foil variant — essentially, Pokémon’s way of making you collect two versions of most cards if you want a truly “complete” set. And, some cards have alternate-art versions, such as an added Toys ‘R’ Us logo for a card used as a store giveaway. Those kinds of cards are always an interesting addition to a collection.
But I haven’t found a checklist that tracks everything I want to track. Pokémon has PDF card lists available for download on its website — like this one for Crimson Invasion — and while they look great they don’t include the “secret rare” subset of cards at the end of the set. The website Pokellector has a good web version and a mobile app, but the mobile app — which I’m going to use the vast majority of the time — only allows me to check off a particular card in the set and not the foil alternate (the website does allow you to mark ownership of alternate versions of a card, but viewing a set as a whole shows only the “base” card). So the mobile app effectively does half of what I want it to do, and the added capabilities in the website still dont work the way I want them to work. And, navigation within a set on the website is inconsistent.
So I built my own checklist using Pokémons online card lists as a base. A single six-column landscape page has space for two sets, plus additional space for an “alternate art” list for each set. I have a six-page checklist built that includes sets going back to 2016’s XY: Evolutions, the set that was current when we started playing, and has space for next month’s Ultra Prism set. There’s a page for promo cards, which includes a note about where the promo was distributed, plus a page for other cards only found in certain sets such as Trainer Kits. And, since it’s on 8.5×11 paper when printed, it can be easily tucked into a binder when we go to the shop to play.
And since there’s no reason not to share, you can download a PDF of this checklist for your own use if you’re so inclined.